The Beatles
Rubber Soul


4.5
superb

Review

by Chewbacca USER (32 Reviews)
July 25th, 2005 | 259 replies | 30,850 views


Release Date: 1965 | Tracklist


8 of 8 thought this review was well written

1965 was a very big year, for pop music and the Beatles. The British invasion was officially in swing, with bands like the Rolling Stones and the Who breaking new ground, as far as rock music went. The Beatles themselves were impossibly huge on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Albums like With the Beatles, Please Please Me, and Help! were instantly snatched by fanatical teenage girls. They played on the Ed Sullivan Show, one of the most historic and memorable moments in the history of pop and rock music, to this day. In 1965, the Beatles released Rubber Soul, where they began to experiment slightly with different instruments and sounds, which would lead to albums like Revolver and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The title, Rubber Soul is a mere joke. During the British Invasion, black artists would say that the bands were "plastic soul," becuase they seemed to be fakes. I find it rather humurous that it is the title of a rather emotional album.

Rubber Soul, thought a mere prequel to those later albums, is fantastic in its own right. Some may point out that the album is a mere artistic improvement, which most bands standardly go through. Whatever you may think of what the album is in the place of the Beatles, you can't deny that the album is packed with well-written, nearly perfect pop songs. Most of the songs hardly run longer than two and a half minutes, and the album as a whole is under 30 minutes, a perfect representation of the genius of the Beatles, and their ability to do so much with a simple two minute pop song. Rubber Soul is actually quite varied, which was a rather pleasant surprised. The songs range from acoustic country-pop, to fairly rocking, R&B, and excursions into middle eastern music. The singing throughout the album is melodic and tuneful, and the vocal harmonies are extremely tight. George Harrison and Ringo Starr's playing are very tasteful, never going beyond what the songs called for. Paul McCartney's bass playing is one of the strong points of the album. His bass lines are melodic, bouncy, and catchy, proving him to be one of the first great bass players of rock music.

"I've Just Seen a Face" begins the album on a rather sad note. The song revolves around an acoustic shuffle, with moraccas and harmomy vocals during the chorus. Paul's vocals are top-notch, and provides a sad tone to the song. It's a fantastic opener, with one of the best choruses on the album. And the song that everyone knows, "Norwegian Wood". The song is one of the first times that a sitar, a traditional Indian instrument used by the likes of Ravi Shankar, was used in a pop song. The sitar playing adds a different tone to the song, and accompanies the acoustic guitar playing and John's voice very well. "You Won't See Me," and "Think For Yourself" are more of rock songs than the rest of the album. "Think For Yourself" contains a distorted guitar (or is it bass?), one of the first recordings it was ever used on. Here, the band harmonizes perfectly, as always. "Michelle" is quite possibly the best song on the album. It is another acoustic song, with "ooh" backing vocals, and Paul singing somewhat sadly, as if he's sitting on a couch singing to himself. The accompaniment is sparse, but beautiful nonetheless. "Girl," with John on vocals, is another acoustic track. It's a sad, minor-key song, with more great backing vocals, and is followed by the absolutely extraordinary "I'm Lookng Through You".The instrumentation is acoustic, again, with lyrics like "I'm looking through you / Where did you go? / I thought I knew you / What did I know?," and a random keyboard slam and guitar fills come in, and leave very quickly, adding a quirky touch to the song. Without a doubt, the song is the best on Rubber Soul, and one of the best "early" Beatles songs, and is followed by the equally amazing "In My Life," with some great playing by George, and more perfect backing vocals. Rubber Soul ends on "Run for Your Life," a rollicking, Bob Dylan-esque tune. John even sounds similar to Dylan's singing, and George provides some great guitar fills, a fantastic way to close the album.

Rubber Soul, as we all should know by now, is the bridge that the Beatles built for themselves, just so they could finally cross the river that they had been looking across for so long. Everything about the album is absolutely amazing in every way. Paul and John's vocal abilities are stunning, never ceasing to amaze me. The harmony and backing vocals provided by the band are perversely tight and well organized, coming in at the right times. You can definately tell that Bob Dylan and other artists were starting to influence the band, or at lest John, especially in the final track. The album, for the most part, is a quiet, pleasant acoustic album, with George adding some electric guitar every once in awhile. Ringo keeps the beat perfectly the whole time, but never really stands out too much, allowing the rest of the band to shine. Though the album is very short, it's one of the most rewarding listens that I have ever taken. If you want to hear the Beatles before they became the true rock icons that they are, before the experimentation and vast progress, right when they were building that bridge, then you will definately want to buy Rubber Soul. It's definately worth whatever you would have to pay for. It's an essential album from an essential band.



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user ratings (2129)
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4.3
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Killtacular
July 25th 2005



1314 Comments


Ace review, pal. You get a thumb.
:thumb:

I've not heard anything from this album, I don't believe.

Jawaharal
July 25th 2005



1832 Comments


I know how to play michelle on guitar but Ive never heard it

DFelon204409
Emeritus
July 25th 2005



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Hey in case you haven't heard it yet, check out Thrice's cover of "I've Just Seen a Face." Interesting choice. They also cover Eleanor Rigby, and do a superb job on that one with the tasteful metalcore outro.

http://www.waterispoison.com/audio.php

Scroll down to the rare/unreleased section.

Woodstock
July 25th 2005



154 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I have the version with Drive My Car as the opening song. Which version is that, US or UK?

Killtacular
July 25th 2005



1314 Comments


Since this is the US version, I'd say that you have the UK version.This Message Edited On 07.25.05

BlackDeathMetalJazz or really ANYTHING else please-
July 26th 2005



200 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Funny this came up today. I listined to this album all the way though today for the first time. I've never appreciated the greatness of this album til today. (I've had it for a long time though) Good reveiw good album. :thumb:

masada
July 26th 2005



2733 Comments


UK Track Listing:

1. Drive My Car
2. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
3. You Won't See Me
4. Nowhere Man
5. Think for Yourself
6. Word
7. Michelle
8. What Goes On
9. Girl
10. I'm Looking Through You
11. In My Life
12. Wait
13. If I Needed Someone
14. Run for Your Life


masada
September 3rd 2005



2733 Comments


I would have thought that this would get more replies than it has. Oh well.

pulseczar
September 3rd 2005



2385 Comments


rubber soul rules, this is where the beatles started kicking so much ass. I think i have the UK version though, i wonder which version gets to canada

masada
December 22nd 2005



2733 Comments


Conveniently bumped.

:cool:

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
December 22nd 2005



15727 Comments


Has my fav singles on it.

Digging: Alvvays - Alvvays

El_Goodo
April 17th 2006



1008 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Either the US track listing is wrong or you skipped over the song It's Only Love.

El_Goodo
April 17th 2006



1008 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

*Double Post*This Message Edited On 04.17.06

masada
May 18th 2006



2733 Comments


The version I have doesn't have it. But, according to AMG, it's on the US version.

Kingofdudes
May 18th 2006



294 Comments


The version I have doesnt have it either

SeizureToday
August 13th 2006



14 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, the American and UK versions differ for every Beatles album up to Sgt. Pepper. Weird.

MisterPilgrim
August 13th 2006



233 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

British Version >> American Version.

But it's kind of cool I've Just Seen a Face is on here.


XENU APPROVES OF THIS REVIEW.This Message Edited On 08.13.06

mark7477
March 19th 2011



392 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is absolutely one of the best albums particularly in the early Beatles era.It's quite progressive but still classic Beatles with dynamic songs like Norwegian wood,drive my car ,the word and many more.

mark7477
March 19th 2011



392 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is absolutely one of the best albums particularly in the early Beatles era American or British.It's quite progressive but still classic Beatles with dynamic songs like Norwegian wood,drive my car ,the word and many more.

Hep Kat
May 29th 2011



15018 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

this is probably the greatest album of all time

Digging: Sir Michael Rocks - Banco



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